• X Provides Premium Perks to Hezbollah, Other U.S.-Sanctioned Groups

    The U.S. imposes sanctions on individuals, groups, and countries deemed to be a threat to national security. Elon Musk’s X appears to be selling premium service to some of them. An investigation identified more than a dozen X accounts for U.S.-sanctioned entities that had a blue checkmark, which requires the purchase of a premium subscription. Along with the checkmarks, which are intended to confer legitimacy, X promises a variety of perks for premium accounts, including the ability to post longer text and videos and greater visibility for some posts.

  • As Baby Boomers Retire in Droves, Will Immigrants Save U.S. Economy?

    Each day, about 10,000 people born between 1946 and 1964 leave the U.S. workforce, a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic when older workers decided to retire early rather than risk getting sick. The problem is that for every one person leaving, there’s only one person coming into the labor force, and if the labor force is not growing, economic growth is slowed down, or worse.

  • The Unlikely Coalition Behind Biden’s Liquefied Natural Gas Pivot

    Climate activists led the charge against LNG exports, but they’re not the only ones celebrating Biden’s pause. A broader, less-climate-concerned coalition, representing thousands of manufacturers, chemical companies, and consumer advocates, has also been quietly pushing for the pause — and stands to benefit if Biden curbs LNG exports.

  • Congress Should Demote the DOE and Unleash LNG Exports

    Late January’s Department of Energy (DOE) move to temporarily pause pending requests to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) outside the United States has elicited not only a firestorm of criticism, but also proposals in Congress to reverse the DOE action. At stake is a burgeoning industry with domestic and international significance, both economically and geopolitically.

  • Maritime Power Shapes the World Order – and Is Undergoing a Sea Change

    Western global leadership was the result of centuries of sea mastery. Controlling the global ocean enables the projection of military power all over the world, as well as securing the free flow of goods at sea. The prosperity and security of trading nations strongly depend on the stability of the global maritime supply chain and thus on freedom of navigation. But now Western maritime superiority is being challenged by other rising powers and by insurgent groups.

  • White House Plans to Improve Supply Chains Is Comprehensive, but Challenge Will Be in Execution

    “Modern supply chains are global,” says an expert. “COVID-19 showed that our supply chains are also fragile, highlighting the need for resiliency. Deeper engagement with allies and partners is to recognize the role of multiple nations in supply chains and coordinate with them for ensuring resiliency.”

  • ASPI’s Darwin Dialogue Will Seek a Way Forward for Critical Minerals

    Critical minerals including rare earth elements, lithium, and cobalt, play a crucial role in industries, from electronics and renewable energy to defense. Global critical minerals markets and supply chains remain overly concentrated on China as a singular destination and source affording Chinese companies overwhelming influence over the sector across multiple extraction and processing stages and giving the Chinese government undue leverage on its neighbors and strategic competitors.

  • American Nuclear Power Plants Are Among the Most Secure in the World — What If They Could Be Less Expensive, Too?

    Researchers harness the power of machine learning-driven models to study nuclear reactor performance as scientists seek to develop cost-effective small nuclear reactors.

  • Vietnam Overtakes China as Largest Exporter of Goods Made with Uyghur Forced Labor

    Vietnam was the top exporter to the United States of products covered by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in 2023, the first time a country has outranked China since the law passed in 2021. The Department of Homeland Security’s Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force includes 30 items, from clothing to solar-grade polysilicon, in its product watch list, according to the Federal Register in December 2023.

  • U.S. Disrupts Botnet China Used to Conceal Hacking of Critical Infrastructure

    In December 2023, the FBI disrupted a botnet of hundreds of U.S.-based small office/home office (SOHO) routers hijacked by People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored hackers. The Chinese government hackers used privately-owned SOHO routers infected with the “KV Botnet” malware to conceal the PRC origin of further hacking activities directed against U.S. critical infrastructure and the critical infrastructure of other foreign victims.

  • Is the Southwest Too Dry for a Mining Boom?

    Critical minerals for the clean energy transition are abundant in the Southwest, but the dozens of mines proposed to access them will require vast sums of water, something in short supply in the desert.

  • Thailand Seeking Investment for Strategic ‘Landbridge’

    Thailand is trying to drum up investment for a “landbridge” across its southern neck, which would cut cargo transit times from the Pacific to Indian oceans and boost the kingdom’s strategic importance by providing an alternative route for Chinese trade that could bypass Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Beijing has historically preferred the idea of a deep-water, Suez Canal-style route across Thailand for its ships, but the landbridge idea appears to finally put an end to aspirations for the so-called Kra Canal, a generations-old vision to dig a deep waterway across southern Thailand to allow large ships to pass, cutting at least a day off of sailing time around the Straits of Malacca.

  • 5 Technologies Keeping Cargo Ships Safe in Turbulent Times

    Due to Houthi attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea, worldwide shipping is in trouble and the global supply chain faltering. These technologies can help.

  • Investors Are “Flying Blind” to Risk of Climate Lawsuits

    Polluting companies could be liable for trillions in damages from climate lawsuits. But few investors and regulators are taking these risks into account when evaluating companies’ climate-related financial risks. Experts call for an overhaul in how climate litigation risks are assessed and provides a new framework for doing so.

     

  • Central Asia Key to Breaking China's Rare Earth Monopoly

    U.S. officials hoping to break China’s near monopoly on the production of rare earth elements needed for many cutting-edge technologies should engage the governments of Central Asia to develop high concentrations of REEs found in the region, says a new report.